WORK has started on a new housing project in Huddersfield.

The scheme will see affordable homes built on the former site of derelict flats.

Mechanical diggers clanked into action earlier this week to start to build 35 two-bedroom homes on land off Gelder Terrace, Moldgreen.

The development will be built by Kirklees Council in partnership with the Homes and Communities Agency and Huddersfield contractor Termrim Construction Ltd, who are developing the scheme for Yorkshire Housing.

The site was sold by Kirklees Council to Yorkshire Housing for £95,000 on February 1.

Initial work to clear the site began earlier this week.

The homes are expected to be finished by Autumn 2011.

Kirklees say the work will secure between 40 and 50 local construction jobs.

A spokesman for Kirklees Council said: “Last summer the council demolished the old flats on the site to may way for the new scheme.

“The new homes are part of the council’s wider response to providing affordable homes and working closely with partners to access funding during a challenging economic climate.”

Poplar Street and Gelder Terrace was formerly home to some of Huddersfield’s worst housing.

The original Poplar Estate, which was built in 1914, consisted of 60 flats and six houses.

Kirklees spent £150,000 demolishing the old housing last year after the derelict homes became a haunt for drug addicts and arsonists.

Firefighters were called to 12 deliberate fires in the area last May. On June 2 part of a roof collapsed on firefighters while they were dealing with a blaze at the site.

But they had a history. It was in 1911 that Huddersfield Corporation’s Housing and Town Planning Committee gave approval to build the first two blocks of 20 tenement flats. The whole scheme was planned to be a four-block development of much- needed two-storey housing for workmen on the site of the old Moldgreen gasworks off Poplar Street. Rents for the tenements were set at 3s 9d for the upper deck and 3s 6d for the lower.